From Sonship To Slavery, Part 3
From Sonship to Slavery
Text: Galatians 4:8-11
I. Paul reminds the Galatians of who they were: ignorant of God, v. 8
II. Paul reminds the Galatians of who they are: known by God. v. 9a-b
III. Paul warns the Galatians of who they may be: condemned by God. vv. 9c-11
A. Paul’s question, v. 9c
“How can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more” (v. 9c)?
What matters supremely, therefore, is not in the last analysis, the fact that I know God, but the larger fact which underlies it- the fact that He knows me. I am graven on the palms of His hands. I am never out of His mind. All my knowledge of Him depends on His sustained initiative in knowing me. I know Him because He first knew me, and continues to know me. He knows me as a friend, one who loves me; and there is no moment when His eye is off me, or His attention distracted from me, and no moment…when His care falters (J.I. Packer, Knowing God, p. 42).
What was the evidence of their desire to turn back?
B. Paul’s Indictment, v. 10
“Oh, the folly of these Galatians! We can certainly understand the language of the Prodigal Son, who came to his father and said ‘I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants’ or ‘slaves.’ But how can anyone be so foolish as to say: ‘You have made me your son; but I would rather be a slave’? ‘I do not desire it; I prefer slavery to sonship’. Yet that was the folly of the Galatians, unders the influence of their false teachers” (John Stott, Galatians, p. 108).
Why would someone desire to trade being known by God for external religious practice?
C. Paul’s Warning, v. 11
What was it that caused such alarm in Paul?
We must be constantly:
1. Reminded of who we were: ignorant of God.
2. Reminded of who we are: known by God.
3. Warned of who we may be: condemned by God.
© John Fonville
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